Street Fighter IV (2009)

sf4I’m a sucker for nostalgia. My generation, as a whole, is, which is why Nike sells Dunks and Jordan’s by the boatload, why Transformers and X-Men movies are made, and why Street Fighter IV exists. But does it hold a candle to probably the most played fighting game ever, Street Fighter II?

Capcom was afraid to make Street Fighter III. It took them six years to finally release that game, doing everything from milking Part II, to making three Street Fighter Alpha games, to making a crappy movie (and two awful games based on it), to even making 3D games for the series. So of course, when Part III came out featuring Ryu, Ken, and a cast of unknowns, it didn’t have the showstopping impact its predecessor had.

So of course Capcom was even more scared to make a fourth installment. They seemed content milking their various Marvel vs. Capcom franchises (which were some of the best fighting games EVER), and even some largely ignored Capcom vs. SNK games.

Nobody ever thought a Street Fighter IV would even be considered. But here we are. And the game is everything I loved about my childhood, and none of the easily forgettable Street Fighter stuff that happened after.

Available for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 (and arcades in Japan), it pits vivid, detailed 3D renderings in a traditional 2D fighting plane. And it plays just like you remember it.

The game seems to ditch or ignore much of the gameplay developments in the latter part of the series that turned off many of the series’ original fans. The result is a back-to-basics approach that features all of the original and loved Street Fighter II characters, a few extra fan favorite characters from the series, and four new fighters.

The gameplay is smooth (even online), and the action remains strategy-based, with special moves sometimes playing second-fiddle to all of the in-depth combo attacks available.

For those who stopped playing fighters when they left middle school and feel that these type of games lack depth in today’s gaming era, I invite you to take Street Fighter IV for a spin. Nostalgia will sweep you away.

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